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NOBEL system

Preparing to Blow

Mike Purdy (center) and Peter Mills watch as Jim Broda prepares NOBEL (Near Ocean Bottom Explosives Launcher) for testing on the WHOI pier, circa 1990. NOBEL was developed to undertake high-resolution deep ocean seismic experiments. When deployed at sea, the cylinders would be loaded with powerful, custom-made explosive charges. The energy generated by these precisely-detonated explosions would then be detected by seismometers, allowing geologists to "see" below the seafloor to Earth’s crustal structure. NOBEL was the first (and is still the only) system to successfully detonate multiple high-explosive charges at full ocean depths. (Photo by Terri Corbett, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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